Friday, April 07, 2006


So exactly why do folks in corporate America abuse the word agile?

So exactly why do folks in corporate America abuse the word agile? Is it because they never bother to learn the basics? Is it because they need to preempt the word to create a facade of actually providing value? Is it because they haven't yet figured out that others are now abusing the word innovation and they are still stuck in an endless loop...

Not sure of whom to attribute the following thought since they were collected over a variety of blogs I have read within the last several months. Anyway, I am of the belief that most folks in corporate America are keenly aware of the dysfunctional approaches used to solve problems. While they have built up a deep understanding of common issues around the software development lifecycle and have a strong desire to improve it, many are guilty of wanting to skip the basics and just want to learn techniques.

Focusing on techniques and so-called best practices is dangerous especially for modern non-waterfall methodologies where the focus isn't really on technique but on complete changes in mindset. Maybe if enterprises truly wanted to be successful they would adopt a methodology such as Extreme Programming wholesale and resist the evil of making modifications to the process (This reminds me of why dogs mark trees). Imagine if a large enterprise adopted SCRUM and stuck to it word-by-word and instead of focusing in on technique attempted to understand why each practice exists and what value each step provides.

If you hear any architect after reading this blog and they are attempt to hijack the word agile and combine it in recommendations with techniques, please throw them off the highest roof you can find. If you hear folks in the project management office debating over which agile methodology fits the culture better, please kidnap these fools. There is no value in comparing one agile methodology to another (For my peers reading this, yes I was somewhat guilty of this earlier in our quest) as all of the agile methodologies share the same values which is what we really should be focusing on...

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